- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 7, 2015

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) - A 19th7/8century locomotive with Natchez roots likely will not be returning to its home state any time soon.

The locomotive, named the “Mississippi,” was auctioned for $220,000 Monday in Philadelphia. Although the identification of the winning bidder had not been revealed, one thing is certain - the State of Mississippi did not place a bid for the train that got its start in Natchez.

The locomotive is considered to be the oldest in the South and got its start in Natchez as part of the Mississippi Railroad Company in 1836.

“It is a very important artifact and we would love to have it in our collection,” Mississippi Department of Archives and History Director Katie Blount tells The Natchez Democrat (https://bit.ly/1L5jLvb). “Unfortunately, we were not in a position to place a bid.”

Blount said the amount of money that would have been required played a role in the decision not to place a bid.



The train operated between Natchez and Hamburg, a small community in Franklin County. It was displayed in the Chicago Exposition of 1893 and ended up as part of the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry’s collection. On Monday, the museum auctioned the locomotive, along with four other pieces in its transportation collection.

Blount said she is still interested in the train and would consider acquiring it from the winning bidder, if given the opportunity.

“It is very important to the story of Mississippi,” Blount said.

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Information from: The Natchez Democrat, https://www.natchezdemocrat.com/

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